Sources: Jealousy Led To Merriman, Tequila Altercation

Multiple sources provided 10News' Juliette Vara with new details about what led to the incident last Sunday involving San Diego Chargers star Shawne Merriman and reality TV star Tila Tequila at the linebacker's Poway home.

Sources close to the story told Vara that Tequila -- also known as Tila Nguyen -- was unhappy that she was not the only woman getting attention from Merriman, and jealousy played a role in the early morning altercation.

The sources told Vara that witnesses at Merriman's home said the three-time Pro Bowl linebacker went to his bedroom with two women.

Sources said Tequila walked into the room and Merriman asked her to join them. However, the sources said Tequila reacted angrily and threatened to have sex with a member of Merriman's entourage.

According to sources, Tequila was intoxicated, and she got naked and attempted to leave the house.

Sources told Vara that Merriman, 25, tried to stop the 27-year-old Tequila, and that is when she called 911.

Tequila accused Merriman of choking and throwing her to the ground while she was trying to leave the house. Tequila signed a citizen's arrest warrant accusing Merriman of battery and false imprisonment. Both are felonies.

After practice on Wednesday, Vara talked to Merriman, but he did not discuss specifics about the case.

Vara asked Merriman to clarify his relationship with Tequila, and he immediately contacted his attorney.

"I don't know if … let me text my lawyer real quick," he said.

Merriman later acknowledged that he and the MTV star were friends and had only known each other for a short time.

"If anyone feels this is a distraction for me, I apologize," Merriman said. "I know my No. 1 priority is guys in the locker room."

Sources also told Vara that Tequila faked a neck injury, and when paramedics arrived they determined that she was OK. However, Tequila insisted on going to the hospital.

On Wednesday, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department handed over its findings in the case to the District Attorney's office.

The District Attorney's office will review the sheriff's department documents to decide if charges will be filed against Merriman.

The attorney representing Tequila disputed Merriman's claim that she was drunk when the linebacker allegedly choked her and held her against her will in his Poway home.

Attorney Alan S. Gutman issued a statement Tuesday, saying Merriam's comments since the incident early Sunday morning are nothing more than "calculated spin to cover up his illegal and indefensible actions."

Merriman and his attorney, Todd Macaluso, have said they expect him to be vindicated. Merriman issued a statement Sunday denying wrongdoing and saying he was trying to keep Tequila from leaving his home because she appeared to be intoxicated.

"I in no way caused any harm to Ms. Nguyen, however, paramedics were called and she was examined but no injuries were reported," Merriman's statement read.

On Tuesday night, Tequila's attorney called Merriman's explanation "spin" and predicted it would be discredited.

"It is never justifiable to brutally assault, choke, strike and imprison a woman," Gutman wrote. "Once the truth is fully revealed, Mr. Merriman's fantastic story of how he was trying to keep Ms. Tequila safe will be completely discredited."

Gutman didn't return calls seeking comment Wednesday. Merriman and Macaluso said they had no further comment.

When Merriman bailed out of jail on Sunday, a court appearance was scheduled for next Tuesday. If no charges are filed, that appearance will be removed from the court calendar, Levikow said. If the DA's office hasn't decided by then, the appearance will be rescheduled.